Olympics will be most digital ever, ad opps abound

The Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium will stream every event live on its two Olympic websites, opening up lots online advertising opportunities for brands. But even with the extra space, inventory is almost gone.

With the recent announcement that Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium (OBMC) will be streaming every single Olympic event live on its French- and English-language websites, it looks like the Vancouver Games will be the most digitized in Olympic history. And all that content means more opportunities than ever to get in on the Games for advertisers, Alon Marcovici, VP of digital media and research, OBMC, tells MiC.

‘There has been an extremely high demand to advertise on CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca,’ he says, adding that over 50 advertisers are on board already. ‘While we are close to being sold out, there are still opportunities for sponsorships. We are creating new advertising opportunities at a rapid pace in order to meet the high level of interest.’

Many opportunities are already in place on the sites, including an as-yet unsponsored mini-app called ‘Hockey Twin’ on CTVOlympics.ca that matches hockey fans with their most compatible Canadian hockey star. Samsung has already activated its ‘Call the Play’ promotion, which offers viewers the chance to weigh in on Team Canada’s best winter sports moments. Judging from the 30 or so uploaded video voiceovers, few are likely to become the next Don Cherry. But the section is one of the fun, customizable features offered by the consortium for brands that want to associate themselves with the 2010 Games next month in Vancouver.

‘It’s the most affordable way to activate with the Olympics,’ says Marcovici. ‘There isn’t another way to get an engaged audience, and to associate your brand with the Games.’

Online pricing, he says, is a ‘sophisticated science.’ The sales team may consider the level of contextual integration, customization, CPMs and the multi-platform packaging that includes print, radio and television.

There is no set inventory, says Marcovici, who believes most of the sales will occur during the 17 days of the Games. ‘NBC booked over a $100 million of advertising [in total] during the Beijing Olympics. So we’ll be selling through the Games,’ he says.

Every competition will be streamed live, and the video players are can manage overlays, play-by-play integration and live blogs. Other interactive features include mobile apps, daily musical footage, weather and trivia sections, as weall as a digital lounge for athletes to chat with fans.